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Section 3

3. And there is the question How can the infinite have existence and remain unlimited: whatever is in actual existence is by that very fact determined numerically.

But, first, if multiplicity holds a true place among Beings, how can it be an evil?

As existent it possesses unity; it is a unit-multiple, saved from stark multiplicity; but it is of a lessened unity and, by that inwoven multiplicity, it is evil in comparison with unity pure. No longer steadfast in that nature, but fallen, it is the less, while in virtue of the unity thence retained it keeps some value; multiplicity has value in so far as it tends to return to, unity.

But how explain the unlimited? It would seem that either it is among beings and so is limited or, if unlimited, is not among beings but, at best, among things of process such as Time. To be brought to limit it must be unlimited; not the limited but the unlimited is the subject of limitation, since between the limited and the unlimited there is no intermediate to accept the principle of limitation. The unlimited recoils by very nature from the Idea of limit, though it may be caught and held by it from without:- the recoil, of course, is not from one place to another; the limitless can have nothing to do with place which arises only with the limiting of the unlimited. Hence what is known as the flux of the unlimited is not to be understood as local change; nor does any other sort of recognisable motion belong to it in itself; therefore the limitless cannot move: neither can it be at rest: in what, since all place is later? Its movement means little more than that it is not fixed in rest.

Is it, then, suspended at some one point, or rocking to and fro?

No; any such poising, with or without side motion, could be known only by place [which Matter precedes].

How, then, are we to form any conception of its being?

We must fasten on the bare notion and take what that gives us- opposites that still are not opposed: we think of large and small and the unlimited becomes either, of stationary and moving, and it will be either of these. But primarily it can be neither in any defined degree, or at once it is under limit. Limitless in this unlimited and undefined way, it is able to appear as either of a pair of opposites: draw near, taking care to throw no net of limit over it, and you have something that slips away; you come upon no unity for so it would be defined; approach the thing as a unit, and you find it manifold; call it a manifold, and again you falsify, for when the single thing is not a unity neither is the total a manifold. In one manifestation it takes the appearance of movement, in another of rest, as the mind envisages it.

And there is movement in its lack of consciousness; it has passed out of Intellectual-Principle, slid away. That it cannot break free but is under compulsion from without to keep to its circling with no possibility of advance, in this would be its rest. Thus it is not true to speak of Matter as being solely in flux.

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